Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
66Trip End Apr 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
As we headed into Memphis, we noticed Elvis Presley Boulevard on the map and Graceland was shown so we headed in that direction. There was a Days Inn right next to the Graceland museum, Graceland itself being across the road. We went to book in, expecting it to be very expensive because of its location, however the receptionist managed to give us a further discount off the price making it very reasonable. The only down side was there was no guest laundry on site and with a minimal wardrobe, washing has to be done frequently. This did not put us off as being so close to Graceland was convenient and the motel had thrown itself totally into the spirit of being next to Graceland. As we booked in we noticed the reception was absolutely covered in memorabilia and there was a sign outside, quoting John Lennon, saying 'Before Elvis, there was nothing.' Can you argue with John Lennon?! Then there were the car park signs - see the photo - and Elvis radio playing over the speakers all over the motel. As we went around to our room there was a guitar shaped swimming pool (too cold to swim in at the moment), as we entered our room there were pictures of Elvis on the wall and when we finally got to switch the TV on, there were two channels showing Elvis films non-stop. Elvis indeed lives!
Although neither of us are Elvis fans, we still decided to do the VIP tour which includes tickets to the various museums as well as a tour around the Graceland mansion itself. You are able to visit the special room containing even more Elvis memorabilia and you have a ride on the bus around the Graceland grounds. As we were the only ones on the bus, it turned out to be a personal guide to the grounds!
It was very interesting and very much of its time. The decor is very lavish 60's/70's and the 'mansion' itself is really very small compared with today's standards, but as one of the guides said, 'You have to remember where Elvis came from to see why he thought it a mansion.' This is very true - it would be laughed off of 'Cribs'.
We had lunch in one of the two diners on the museum site and it was good to find that the restaurants were doing 'home-cooked' food instead of the fast food (albeit Taco Bell and IHOP - not just McDonalds). D and Yvonne had combos which included the likes of sweet potatoes, mash, gravy, etc. The only disappointment was that as we were leaving, we noticed that there was a further seating area with cars adapted so you could sit in them to eat - Pulp Fiction style!